Found on the PLA website;
Notice to Mariners
No.20 of 2007 Safety Advice For The Users Of Ribs and High-Speed Craft
An earlier version of this Notice to Mariners was previously issued as Notice to Mariners No. 7 of 2006 (which this Notice replaces). This information and guidance remains important and relevant to the users and operators of RIBs and high speed craft. However, following a recent incident involving a RIB in the tidal Thames, which could have been far more serious, the opportunity has been taken to reiterate, expand and re-publish this guidance and advice.
Recent Thames Incident
Two issues in particular arose from the Harbour Master’s investigation into this latest incident:
RIB seat fixing – The RIB was crossing a wash when one of the seats detached and threw a crewmember against the helmsman. (In this case, the seat was attached to the deck by only 1inch grub screws and sealed with “bathroom” sealant).The helmsman lost control of the boat as he fell over the side and the boat slewed around throwing two other crewmembers into the river.
As has happened in the past on a number of recorded occasions, the helmsman’s ‘kill cord’ did not function correctly and the boat continued out of control, leaving the crew in the water. The RIB then collided with a passing yacht.
Users and owners of RIBs are strongly recommended to check the fixings of seats and where necessary strengthen/improve the securing points.
Always use a ‘kill cord’. Proper checks should be made to ensure that the “kill cord” is properly attached to the helmsman and that it will function in the proper manner.
Detail from Notice to Mariners No. 7 of 2006
There have been a number of serious, and in some instances, fatal accidents in UK waters in recent years involving RIBs and other high-speed craft. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has investigated these incidents and made a number of recommendations in its subsequent reports.
The PLA recommends that all operators of such craft ensure that they receive suitable and relevant, accredited training and instruction in the safe use and operation of their vessel. Numerous training courses are available from a wide range of boating and leisure organisations. The Maritime & Coastguard Agency and the Royal Yachting Association provide guidance and advice on all types of marine leisure activities.
In particular, operators and those in charge of such craft should, when underway:
Be competent in and aware of the handling (and limitations) of the craft at differing speeds;
Ø Ensure the keeping of a proper lookout;
Ø Be aware of other river users, including the effects of their own wash;
Ø Ensure the proper use of appropriate personal safety and protective equipment;
Ø Use an effective ‘kill cord’;
Ø Ensure they have a suitable means of communication on board;
Ø Understand and be familiar with the action to take in emergency situations, including: distress signals and emergency communications, man overboard, fire fighting, disabled craft and towing and being towed.
The PLA intends to include this additional advice in the next revision of ‘The Tidal Thames – A Guide for Users of Recreational Craft’ to be published early in 2008, until which time this Notice will remain in force.
Date Published: 04-Oct-07